A Guide for Men Who Never Know What to Buy Their Fiancee by Kacey Bradley

When you walk through life with your best friend and the person you love most in the world, things can be so easy. You end up learning all about each other, what you like and what you don't.

Your fiancee knows you better than anyone else, which means she probably gets you the best gifts too. What about when it's your turn to buy her a present? Even when you're in love, it can be hard to figure out what to buy for her.

Don't spend another minute worrying about gifts. Check out these eight great ideas your fiancee is sure to love.

1. Consider Her Needs

You don't need to come up with some outlandish gift if your fiancee has mentioned or seemed to need something new.

Do her rain boots leak when she steps in puddles? Does her favorite coffee cup have a chip in it? Saving her a trip to the store will add an extra layer to how much your gift means to her. Going out of your way to care for her is the perfect way to show your love.

2. Make a Photo Frame

Everyone posts pictures online, but when was the last time you printed out photos from your relationship?

Get a photo collage frame that matches your decor. Choose pictures of your favorite moments from your relationship and have them printed at a local drugstore.

Picture collages are an adorable gift you can make in a few minutes that she'll end up keeping for years to come.

3. Buy Her a Date

Think about the last time you took your fiancee out on a date. If it wasn't recently, you might want to consider going out as a gift.

Quality time is such a valuable thing to give someone. A date is an especially great idea if you both work long hours or don't see each other too often.

The key to making a date into a gift is to make it bigger and better than a regular outing. You can try something new together, like going ice skating, picking apples or visiting the state fair. Whatever she'd like to do, she'll love doing it even more with you by her side.

4. Purchase Some Flowers

Flowers make a great gift. They are a visual and sensual reminder of your love. 

Some women may think flowers are too cliche, but you don't have to worry about that. All you have to do is pick blooms with different meanings. Ask a florist about the symbolism of each kind of flower, and choose the ones that mean the most to you.

The thoughtfulness behind finding out what flowers symbolize and picking them out yourself is what will really win your fiancee over. 

5. Look for Stylish Jewelry

Giving your fiance jewelry can go one of two ways. If you pick out something she doesn't like or that's cliche, she may end up feeling like you didn't put any thought into your gift.

Make your gift a success by getting your fiance stylish jewelry she'll love. Get her a classy watch if she likes to wear one every day. You can also borrow a piece of her jewelry when she's not looking and ask a jeweler to show you similar items.

How to Make a Statement With Your Wedding's Decor This Summer

Throwing a summer wedding is super fun for brides, since there are so many different ways to enjoy the season and your big day.

Most people would think that a summer wedding would have to be inside with the air conditioning on full blast, but that's not the case. They can happen anywhere, which makes their decor so flexible.

Check out these inspired ideas that are sure to be eye-catching and memorable.

Work With Your Florals

Weddings and florals go hand in hand. Even if you don't prefer traditional bouquets, you probably have flowers as some part of your decor.

If you want to make those flower arrangements stand out even more, check out what other brides are doing with them. One of the most recent trends is to hang florals upside down over the dance floor or buffet table. As long as you have a hanging structure, you can tie any floral arrangement over where people will congregate at your wedding. Play around with how much fauna is worked in with the florals for an even brighter and fuller arrangement.

Drape From the Ceiling

Brides want their venue space to be warm and welcoming, but some areas are so big that it's hard to create that warmth. Drapes can help with that. Brides have started draping fabric from the ceiling, and it can work with any venue space. Tents, rooms and even chic barn spaces look more inviting with drapery romantically hanging over the area.

Choose drapes that correspond with your wedding colors, or go with a classic white that will add elegance to any room.

Hang Edison Bulbs

Rustic chic is coming back around, and it's even entering the world of wedding decor. If you want a touch of this design element, think about hanging Edison bulbs for your lighting. These are exposed bulbs that show the lighted filament inside. They're dreamy to hang around a wedding venue, especially if most of your event will be happening outside.

Be sure to check the bulbs you buy. Some get more heated than others and may not be safe to hang against reception tents for long periods of time. 

Create Interactive Installations

Your wedding guests will be there to celebrate your big day, but they can also easily get bored. This is especially true if they are bringing kids, so create interactive installations to keep everyone entertained.

These can look like an array of things, depending on your theme and location. You can make photo booths with props for guests to play around with or hang a simple backdrop for pictures. 

Make Flower Ice Buckets

Since you're having your wedding in the summer, your guests will want to stay cool. It's smart to provide buckets of ice with drinks in them, but you can dress them up so they make even more of a statement.

All you need is a cooler ice cube mold and fresh flowers in your wedding colors. Cut the stems off and place the flowers in the mold in whatever pattern or direction you'd like. The key to making a flower ice bucket work is to pour hot water over the blooms and freeze for 24 hours. It will be the perfect size to hold wine bottles, beer bottles or even soda cans.

Be sure to set it on top of something to catch the water as it melts, and consider having someone on hand to remove it when it's halfway gone.

Float Flowery Monograms

Another way to get creative with flowers is to use them as floating monograms. Invest in the letters of your combined initials or ones that spell out your last name. Make sure they float by placing them in some water beforehand and letting them dry out afterward.

Once you're satisfied, tie the letters together with fishing wire or thin rope and stick fresh flowers all over them with a hot glue gun. They'll stay fresh for a couple of days, so this craft is best done just before your wedding. 

Roll In the Desserts

After your reception meal is over, everyone will be looking forward to dessert. Why not make your final round of food something that will catch everyone's eye?

Look around at local thrift stores to see if you can find a rolling tray. These will come in many different designs, depending on which era they're from. It's modern yet retro, which is a super popular trend.

Make Everything by Hand

Brides are becoming savvier every day, so more people are taking pride in the parts of the wedding that they made for themselves.

Consider if you could make most of your decor by hand. It'll add a personal touch to your wedding that you won't be able to get anywhere else, and you'll be extra proud to show off those photos after everything is done.

Stick With Your Gut

Stay passionate about how you're decorating your wedding, but don't feel pressured to conform to any trends. You know better than anyone what you want on your wedding day and how you want the venue to look. Think outside the box about how you can use your decor, and you'll be sure to come up with designs that make a statement.

By Kacey Bradley

Modest or Flashy — How to Choose the Perfect Accessories for Your Wedding Day

Kacey Bradley

Some brides have been planning every detail of their wedding day — from the dress to the venue to the jewelry — since they were little. Others need a bit more guidance to prepare the perfect wedding to match their style and tastes. No matter where in the spectrum you fall, many details need to be ironed out before you say "I do." 

One of the final details you'll want to pick, once you choose your dress, theme and colors, are your accessories. Before you start shopping, think about the following points.

  • Gather wedding inspiration. Grab some magazines or hop on Pinterest, and start deciding what appeals to you.

  • On a scale from casual to glam, how formal will the wedding be? Pick jewelry that will be appropriate.

  • Consider the neckline of your wedding dress. For a sweetheart neckline or strapless dress, wear a choker to keep eyes on your face. For a V-neck, consider a pendant or layer a few delicate pieces. If you're wearing a halter or dress with a high neckline, stick to a nice set of earrings.

  • What color is your dress? Silver or platinum look best with snow-white gowns. Gold is a great complement to ivory and champagne-colored gowns, and rose-gold pairs well with a blush-toned dress.

You want your big day to be a reflection of you. Besides matching your accessories to your dress, you'll also want to consider your wedding theme. Based on the style you choose, this guide will help you pinpoint the perfect accessories to match.

Classic

Going with a classic theme means you want your wedding to be timeless and something you'll still remember fondly — without cringing — 20 years from now. You want to keep with wedding traditions, from exchanging vows in a church to tossing the bouquet to eagerly awaiting bachelorette parties. For jewelry that matches this aesthetic, consider wearing classic drop earrings with a matching necklace. Wear a belt to add some sparkle to your dress, and choose a matching veil.

Vintage

Are you looking to evoke a vintage vibe at your wedding? Trying to pay homage to your parents' or grandparents' great love story by recreating it for yourself? Maybe you just love all things mid-century modern or roaring '20s. Find vintage pieces that speak to the era you're trying to recreate. 

Glam

You want your wedding to be the event of the year and one that everyone talks about for a long time. Glitzy and glamorous fits your taste, and you've found the perfect ball gown wedding dress to match. Select jewelry that will enhance the beauty of your gown while still making a bold statement. Consider wearing a tiara, flashy earrings and matching choker.

Modern

Modern themes are ultracontemporary — chic venues, clean lines and minimalist decor. Find the perfect jewelry to complement your style, and go with the mantra that less is more. If you're trying to add a bit of pizzazz through jewelry and accessories, consider making something old new again. Repurpose a vintage piece of jewelry into something fresh and uniquely you.

Rustic

A rustic wedding is much more than mason jars, burlap and cowboy boots. They have transformed into boho chic and are the perfect way to theme just about any outdoor wedding. If you're getting married on top of a mountain, at a farm or ranch, or in the open woods somewhere, look for accessories and jewelry to match — but consider toning it down to not distract from the natural beauty around you. Wear a flower crown or throw a few feathers in your hair, and wear a bold cuff bracelet in gold or turquoise. 

Theme

Theme weddings are the ultimate way to personalize your ceremony. These weddings aren't always the most formal, but they're certainly more fun. Whether you're going for a nautical theme full of anchors and rope, a Halloween wedding where you encourage guests to wear costumes, an all-white winter-wonderland or even a "Game of Thrones" soiree, find accessories that follow along. This is your chance to celebrate your love and have a ton of fun along the way. It will be an event your guests will never forget.

Your Accessories Reflect You

When it comes to your wedding day, it's important to do what feels right. Finding the perfect jewelry and accessories to complement your bridal look is also part style, part feeling. If you hate the idea of wearing chandelier earrings, stick to studs. If you've always wanted to wear a tiara, this is your moment. When you're happy in your dress and accessories, you'll feel beautiful and confident — and no accessory can top that.


How to Take Envy-Worthy Pictures of Your Engagement Ring for Social Media

If you just got engaged, chances are you’re bursting to share the good news. How can you take the best photo to show off your new gem? While you may not be into selfies or posting religiously to Instagram, the ring picture is a sacred rite all brides must follow. To get the perfect photo, follow the tips below.

1. Paint Your Nails

When you show off your ring, everyone is going to see your nails. Make sure everything looks picture-perfect before taking a snap. Treat yourself to a manicure where a professional can make sure your fingers look stunning, or, do it yourself with an exfoliator, cuticle clippers and your favorite color of nail polish. If you can’t wait, try holding hands with your fiancé when taking the photo to frame your nails out of the shot.

2. Clean Your Ring

Your nails aren’t the only thing that will be getting attention. The ring itself is the star, something everyone will look at and envy. Any ring, new or antique, can benefit from a quick cleaning. Learn to do it yourself at home with a jewelry cleaner or take it to a professional for a shine-up. Once finished, your ring will be sparkling and ready for a photo-op.

3. Remove Other Jewelry

Your engagement ring is the star — don’t make it compete with other jewelry. Additional pieces, especially those with large stones, can skew the size of your new ring, making it seem smaller. If you have any other rings, take them off before snapping a photo. If you have a watch, remove it so it’s not in the shot. When your engagement ring is the star, it will be all anyone will be able to look at.

4. Think About Lighting

To get professional-looking photos of your ring, consider the type of lighting you use. Natural light, either outside or near a window, will help you achieve that ethereal, wedding-like glow. The best times to get outside and take a photo are a few hours after sunrise and a few hours before sunset. The exception to this is the holidays, when you can get away with a darker scene lit by magical twinkle lights or flickering candles.

5. Choose Your Backdrop

Yes, your ring will be the center of attention — but you still don't want to take your picture in the laundry room, bathroom or other ordinary place. To bring your photos to the next level, consider a backdrop that will do your ring justice. Get outside and use the spring’s wildflowers or the crashing waves of summer. If you’re traveling, show off a local attraction, such as the Arc de Triomphe or the Golden Gate Bridge.

6. Create a Collage

Maybe you’ve taken photos of your engagement ring, but you can’t decide on your favorite. Luckily, there are plenty of apps you can use to create a unique collage design that will blow your followers out of the water. One popular app is Canva, where you can design anything from logos and business cards to resumes and fliers. You can also create share-worthy engagement collages, with photo elements like frames, graphics, embedded links and much more.

7. Take Multiple Shots

If you want to take the best photo possible, follow the advice of professional photographers everyone — take lots of pictures. The more options you have to choose from, the more likely you’ll find a shot you’re satisfied with. Play with angles, use different poses and get creative. Ditch the selfie stick and use more professional equipment, such as a tripod, which will prevent camera shake and blurriness. Remember, if you want to take a close-up shot, get closer instead of using the zoom function, as it can make your photo look more pixelated.


How to Take Envy-Worthy Photos

Your recent engagement probably has you riding high and feeling better than ever. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge to take gasp-worthy photos, it’s time to break out the camera and get a few shots of your new bling. The ultimate goal of the picture is to show off your happiness about the future. What’s your picture-perfect engagement story sparking your ring selfie?

Fashion Advice for Grooms Who Aren't Sure What to Wear When Tying the Knot

Our start guest blogger, Kacey Mya here with the latest for the fellas!

When you’re up at the altar reciting vows, all eyes will be on you. You’ll want to look your best, even if you know nothing about wedding fashion.

Need help figuring out what to wear? Follow the tips below to find the perfect attire for your big day.

1. Know Your Style

It’s possible to look effortlessly stylish and confident on your wedding day, but it starts with understanding your style and what works best for you.

What you wear will depend entirely on the season, venue, what your partner is wearing, your body type and more. Pay attention to the details by finding fabrics, colors and styles you like.

For example, for an outdoor summer wedding, you won’t be comfortable in a heavy suit designed to hold in body heat. Instead, look for light, breathable fabrics such as linen, cotton or khaki, which allow air to circulate better around your body.

2. Find a Suit

When it comes to how you look in front of your guests, you want to make a good impression. First impressions are so important that they persist despite any contradictory information introduced afterward.

One component to that first impression is the color of your suit. Color — in clothes, advertisements, logos and more — creates long-term subconscious cues in how we regard others.

On your wedding day, it’s best to stick to the more traditional options of blue, black, brown or gray. These colors convey positive qualities and can even influence how people feel about you.

3. Choose Your Neckwear

Now that you have a suit, it’s time to choose your neckwear. The two most common options are the necktie and the bowtie — though you can always go with the classic western bolo.

The necktie is a traditional choice available in endless colors and patterns. If you need help learning how to tie one, there are plenty of resources available online. According to Swedish mathematicians, there are 177,147 ways to do so. Luckily, you only need to know one to get ready for your big day.

Bowties are also a fun option to complement your suit. Some grooms choose to wear a bowtie while allocating neckties to the groomsmen.

4. Pick Some Accents

Next, you’ll want to choose a couple of accessories to enhance your overall style. Just be sure to keep it to one or two, as you don’t want to overshadow your entire ensemble.

Some traditional accessories you may consider adding to your outfit include:

  • A belt or suspenders

  • A pocket square

  • A watch

  • A tie clip

If you want to spice up the traditional with something a little more modern, you can also consider accessories like sunglasses, a hat, scarf or lapel pin.

5. Buy New Shoes

Don’t skimp on your wedding day by wearing a pair of old, worn shoes. Choose something that works with the style and color of your new suit. If everything matches except your shoes, they'll stick out like a sore thumb. You'll also want something formal, such as Oxfords, which are known for their unique lacing.

When looking at shoes, keep in mind where your wedding is going to be held. If the venue is elegant, tiled and indoors, you can choose designer kicks that will steal the show. If you plan to have an outdoor ceremony, one where you might encounter grass, dirt or concrete, you’ll want something a little more practical.

No matter what type of shoes you choose, make sure you're comfortable. You don’t want aching feet distracting you on your wedding day.

6. Hire a Tailor

If you aren’t buying a custom-made suit — and most grooms aren’t — you’ll want to visit a tailor before the big day. This should be your last step, something you do once you have the entire outfit put together. Getting measured by a professional tailor will ensure your suit fits perfectly and complements your body type.

A tailor can also be an excellent resource for all suit-related questions, such as types of garments, materials, styles, sizes and accessories to include.

Choosing Your Wedding Attire

When it’s time to tie the knot, there’s no need to worry about what to wear, even if you’re clueless about wedding fashion. Follow the tips above to find the perfect outfit and look your best on your big day.